Expert Work­shop
6 – 7 JUNE 2019
Please note that this is a closed work­shop (on invi­ta­tion only).
The results of the work­shop will be uploaded here.

This work­shop is the first in a row of three inter­na­tional and multi­di­sci­pli­nary exer­cises, intended to mobi­lize opinions and produce new know­ledge within the rese­arch project: “Mapping for Change? Critical carto­graphy approa­ches to drive socio-envi­ron­mental urban trans­for­ma­tions”. The project is funded by the Volks­wagen Stif­tung and docked at K LAB.

In this project we examine varie­gated examples of contem­po­rary critical mappings that target socio-envi­ron­mental urban issues, and inves­ti­gate parti­cu­larly their Stra­te­gies, Tactics and Typo­lo­gies (STTs) and there­with their level of influence. We do not attempt to cate­go­rize these works, rather, aim to iden­tify ‘new’ trans­di­sci­pli­nary approa­ches for the cumu­la­tion and laye­ring of diffe­rent mapping STTs, and thereupon their poten­tials to support diffe­rent stake­hol­ders to navi­gate contem­po­rary comple­xi­ties and tackle urban poly­crisesThis work­shop brings toge­ther a multi­di­sci­pli­nary group of scho­lars and craftswo/men in an inter­ac­tive program to explore three dimen­sions that we found recur­rent in our study of critical mappings; which are:

1. The decon­s­truc­tion of DICHO­TO­MIES, both in content and in processes of produc­tion (the ‘making of’). The tech­nical para­me­ters that dictate that chosen data must be jointly exhaus­tive and mutually exclu­sive very often lead to the simpli­fi­ca­tion of layered comple­xi­ties (for instance, this is typical of UN approa­ches). Yet, how can these be approa­ched differ­ently, re-nego­tiated and improved? Does produ­cing a glos­sary of false dicho­to­mies for both content and processes help nurture critical views and under­stan­dings of the roles of mapping? Are there any modes for employing diffe­rent STTs that can lead to shif­ting para­digms? What other ideas exist on this issue?

2. The employ­ment of SCAPES – Arjun Appa­durai describes scapes as “deeply perspec­tival cons­tructs” formed through the situa­ted­ness and subjec­ti­vists of diffe­rent actors, and therein are multi-layered, topo­gra­phical, and dynamic. Some argue that scapes require a systems-approach and as a concept account for mate­rial, social and cultural elements. Since contem­po­rary social and envi­ron­mental crises are complex, the approach of scapes could help in outlining and navi­ga­ting comple­xi­ties. Yet, is ‘scapes’ a useful approach or just a trendy concept? What are ways to opera­tio­na­lize scapes through mapping in general and STTs in parti­cular? Is the scapes approach produ­cing ‘new’ results or merely adding to the plura­lity of view points?

3. A focus on CRAFTSWO/MANSHIP. Richard Sennett describes craft­sman­ship as a quality that is embedded in the making, as an addi­tive skill that is deve­loped in (1) the rhythm of explicit recon­side­ring and tacit know­ledge deve­lo­p­ment, lear­ning many ways to perform one acti­vity as opposed to mono­chro­ma­tism; (2) in the process of problem-solving, taking away the notions of closure and truth, and (3) in slow time, lear­ning to dwell on the things we do. Yet, who are the craftswo/men of contem­po­rary carto­graphy? What is the role of craftswo/manship in carto­graphy in the digital age? What happens if we see a map not as an object but as a perfor­mance, and further, as a perfor­mance of (socio-poli­tical) subjectivities?


Outcomes of the Work­shop will be published here.


A list of parti­ci­pants will be made available here.

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